Early Law School Admission Program

The Early Law School Admission Program at RMU provides high-performing students who desire to go to law school the opportunity to complete three years of undergraduate work at Robert Morris University followed by three years of law school, known as a 3+3 program. Earning their law degree one year earlier than in the traditional sequence of four years of college and three years of law school means students can save one year of tuition costs and get a jump on the job market.

Partner institutions are Penn State Law, Duquesne University School of Law, Drexel University's Thomas R. Kline School of Law, and the University of Akron School of Law.

The program is available to students in the following majors:

  • Accounting, Business, Finance, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Management, Marketing, Sport Management
  • English Studies, Theatre, Writing
  • Criminal Justice, History, Political Science, Psychology, Social Science, Sociology

Students interested in the 3+3 Early Law School Admission Program should contact the program coordinator as soon as possible in their freshman year.

Louis Swartz, J.D.
Coordinator, Early Law School Admission Program
Professor of Legal Studies
412-397-6354
swartz@rmu.edu

Additional Program Details

What is the advantage of early law school admission? 

The Early Law School Admission Program (ELSAP) saves a whole year of studies. A student can get their bachelor's and J.D. degrees in six years instead of seven, because the first year of law school counts towards the undergraduate degree.

Who can apply?

Only full-time freshmen taking classes on campus are eligible to apply for candidacy in the Early Law School Admission Program. Transfer students and online students are not eligible. Priority consideration is given to students with high GPAs at RMU and high standardized test scores.

How do I apply?

Meet with the pre-law advisor as soon as possible during your freshman year. You also will join the Pre-Law Society, a student organization. In your second semester during freshman year, submit an application, including your RMU grades and class schedule, standardized test scores, and one letter of recommendation from an RMU professor. 

Is there an extra fee to apply? 

There is no additional fee to apply to ELSAP.

What are the program requirements?

Candidates must maintain a 3.4 or higher GPA and make appropriate academic progress as determined by the pre-law advisory committee, while receiving regular academic advisement by the program coordinator. They must also be active members of the RMU Pre-Law Society. Finally, they must take the LSAT by the fall of their third year and receive a score above the threshold for admission into the ELSAP program with a partner law school. 

Can I select any participating law school?

Each partner law school has its own unique criteria for an Early Law School Admission candidate to be admitted. Candidates for the program should thoroughly review with the RMU coordinator all partner law schools’ requirements to determine which partner law school is best for each candidate.

How well do I have to do on the LSAT?

Candidates in ELSAP are not automatically accepted to a partner law school, but must receive high enough LSAT scores to satisfy each partner law school’s criteria. ELSAP candidates will receive help in preparing for the LSAT and receive other advice from the RMU pre-law advisor concerning the application process. All partner law schools take the candidate's highest LSAT score, so candidates can take the test more than once.

What if I do not get a high enough LSAT score?

Candidates in the program who are not accepted finish out their final year at Robert Morris in their degree program. They can apply for law school during or after their completion of their final year. 

For the fourth year, am I an RMU student or a law school student? 

For the fourth year of the program (their first year in law school), students enroll in law school, but they are still categorized as undergraduate students, even though they are law students paying regular law school standard graduate tuition and fees. They remain active students as far as RMU is concerned, retaining their RMU email and library privileges. If they wish, students may continue to live on the RMU campus for the fourth year.

Am I eligible for financial aid?

Their first year in law school, students in this program are eligible for undergraduate student aid. Students will be able to borrow their undergraduate loans, and receive other aid they are entitled to as an undergraduate student if they qualify (PHEAA, PELL etc.). After year one, the student can then receive graduate financial aid and anything else that they may qualify for as a law student. 

Do my grades in law school affect my RMU grade point average?

No. Law school courses are transfer credits, which do not affect GPA.

When do I get my bachelor's degree?

Students get their undergraduate degree four years after they matriculate at RMU. They walk with their class at commencement, with a year of law school already completed.